Postbag: New Court controversy

ENHANCED and vibrant are not words that convey much to me, when used in connection with redevelopment of St Benedict s Court (Hunts Post, February 8). There is far too much spin, trying to convince the public that they are getting good value for money

ENHANCED" and "vibrant" are not words that convey much to me, when used in connection with redevelopment of St Benedict's Court (Hunts Post, February 8). There is far too much spin, trying to convince the public that they are getting good value for money.

My main concern is on behalf of the disabled, elderly and infirm who don't appear to be considered when the redesign of public areas occurs. I was disappointed to see from the artist's impression in your paper that a second set of steps has been introduced. When I queried this at the "exhibition", I was told that "this is due to concerns about the gradient".

I was shown the plans which don't make it clear that any steps are incorporated in the design.

I asked the two district council officials if any local groups for the disabled or the elderly had been consulted on the proposed design, eg Carers UK or Hunts Coalition of Disabled People, and was told there had been one representative on the panel - from the Papworth Trust.


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When are the authorities going to start listening to the public (whom they are paid to serve) and take the 'con' out of consultation?

Mrs DIANA RICHARDSON, Poplar Close, Huntingdon

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* I READ with horror of yet another grand scheme to expend public monies by HDC, namely the £450,000 revamp of St Benedict's Court.

I despair like so many others at the myriad schemes apparently designed to waste our ever-increasing rates. Noting the artist's impression, I see many opportunities for vandalism to the fountains and a ready-made skateboard park over the several steps employed in the design.

Why not simply arrange to move on the problem-makers, and clean up what exists by giving it a coat of paint at a fraction of this cost?

"Our aim is to create an enhanced town centre for traders . . . it helps to keep retail activity vibrant". This statement says it all but, if it is so valuable to traders, why don't they pay for it?

Why must we pander to business quite so much (free breakfast meetings at The Dolphin) when, as John Souter stated (Letters, February 8) they pay no local income tax.

Shoppers probably, in the main, don't even look twice as long as an area is presentable, and don't care as much as the council would have us believe.

What does concern us all is the rates, ever-increasing at above the level of inflation, particularly hard on the less well-off, and the majority of us, it would seem, who are older and on fixed incomes - incomes which are forever being eroded by this blatant lack of commercial acumen.

A LEWIS, The Osiers, Buckden

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